Walt Disney World Announces Major Updates to Reservation System, Dining Plan — What to Know

It'll soon be more affordable, and even easier, to visit Walt Disney World.

Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwiches and pretzel in front of Cinderella's Castle in Disney's Magic Kingdom

Elizabeth Rhodes/Travel+Leisure

Walt Disney World has announced several major updates to the theme park resort on Monday, including the return of the Disney Dining Plan and the relaxing of its theme park reservation system,

Theme Park reservations, which were implemented when the park reopened in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will cease for date-based ticketed guests visiting Walt Disney World beginning Jan. 9, 2024, the park shared with Travel + Leisure in a press release. Guests with non-dated tickets will continue to be required to make theme park reservations.

No changes were announced for its current “park hopping” system which restricts  guests from visiting another park until after 2 p.m.

Disney also announced that 2024 Disney Vacation packages will go on sale May 31.

“These updates will make planning your future Walt Disney World visits simpler and easier, so you can further enjoy all we have to offer and make more memories,” Disney Parks Blog shared in a post.

The Disney Dining Plan will also return on Jan. 9, 2024 exclusively to Disney Resort hotels guests who purchase a vacation package. This fan favorite option allows visitors to pre-budget their vacation dining spending. When it returns, Disney will initially offer two options for interested guests to choose from: Quick Service Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan. The plan can be redeemed for snacks and meals during a vacation stay with the number based on nights per package. Pricing and additional detailing will be revealed when hotel and ticket packages launch on sale May 31, 2023. 

Additionally, Disney World annual passholders can soon take advantage of “good-to-go” days where theme park reservations will not be required for a park visit. Currently, annual passholders must have a theme park reservation with the exception of visits after 2 p.m., excluding Magic Kingdom on weekends. “Good-to-go” days will also be in effect for Disney’s Cast Members. This new perk will be offered on an ongoing basis on select days and vary by theme park.

Additionally, Disney confirmed that early entry and extended evening hours, a current perk for guests of select resorts, will continue at least through 2024. The company also teased that it is working on ways to better serve its guests with changes to Disney Genie+ and Individual Lighting Lane allowing for advance attraction selection. No further details were shared, but at this time the service can only be activated the morning of park visit.

The news comes on the heels of additional updates to streamline the guest experience, like complimentary overnight self-parking at Disney Resort hotels. “Thousands of these unique moments happen every day, creating a deeper connection with Disney. We care about that and continue to listen to your feedback,” the post shared.

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